Rio 2016 have been dealt a further blow in their Olympic and Paralympic preparations following the resignation of Municipal Olympic Company (EOM) President Maria Silvia Bastos Marquez today.
Marquez, who since taking up the post in 2011 has been responsible for all city-level projects associated with the Games, will officially relinquish her role in a months time to return to working in the private sector.
She will be replaced by Joaquim Monteiro de Carvalho.
Marquez is the second key Games administrator to stand down in recent months following the President of the Olympic Delivery Authority (APO) Marcio Fortes, who left his post last August.
But with the Municipal Government, as well as the State and Federal level authorities, still yet to finalise their infrastructural budget for the Games, losing such a high profile figure at this stage represents a major blow.
The resignation was revealed in a statement circulated today by City Hall, which gave no reason for the decision, but explained how Marquez will still harbour some influence in an advisory capacity to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes so as to “collaborate the knowledge gained in nearly three years in office.”
The latest setback will further test the patience of the International Olympic Committee , chaired by Morocco’s Nawal El Moutawakel, Coordination Commission following its visit last month
This announcement comes just days after the latest International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission visit to Rio in which officials insisted that the next Olympic host had no time to lose in speeding up their preparations.
A “fundamentally important” meeting between the three levels of Government, as well as the chief of staff of Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, was set for last Thursday (March 27) to resolve this disputes.
But after the meeting was initially postponed until today, it has been reported in the Brazilian press this afternoon that it has been delayed again, with no new date yet proposed.
Although the IOC have remained publicly positive throughout recent months, there are known to be growing concerns behind the scenes at preparations, both in terms of construction and in relation to the wider infrastructural budget.
The two blows which have struck today are likely to further test the patience of the IOC.
This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.